Creamy & Sweet Classic Irish Coffee Recipe

Start your day (or end it) with the luck of the Irish... or at least a creamy, dreamy Irish coffee.

Updated March 4, 2024
irish coffee recipe

If you're a coffee fanatic like us, then you'll probably love yourself a spiked coffee cocktail that blends both spirit and caffeine. With the perfect combo of booze, buzz, sweet, and creamy, Irish coffee is an irresistible java drink that we totally love. 

How to Make an Irish Coffee 

We love a cozy boozy coffee bevvy, and Irish coffee is a classic, especially during the winter months. While the recipe opts for Irish whiskey, you can use rye whiskey if you want more of a bite or bourbon if you want a sweeter spirit. 


  • 1½ ounces Irish whiskey
  • ¾ ounce Irish cream
  • Hot coffee, to top off
  • Whipped cream and whole coffee beans for garnish


  1. Warm a mug by filling it with hot water.
  2. After the mug is warm to the touch, pour out the water.
  3. In the mug, add the Irish whiskey and Irish cream.
  4. Top off with hot coffee.
  5. Garnish with whipped cream and coffee beans.
Quick Tip

There are different types of Irish cream liqueurs you can experiment with. Whether you opt for the classic Baileys Irish Cream, Clonmel Irish Cream Liqueur for hints of coffee and chocolate, or Saint Brendan's Irish Cream with hints of vanilla and aged whiskey, you can play with different flavor profiles. 

Related: 9 Coffee Cocktails to Wake You Up & Chill You Out

7 Creamy Irish Coffee Variations & Garnishes 

You can tweak Irish coffee to develop the best coffee for you or those you're making it for. There are plenty of variations and garnishes you can try. 

  • Consider a caramel, toffee, or walnut whiskey to add extra flavor.
  • Cocktail bitters can also add layers of flavor without any added sweetness. Consider flavored bitters such as cinnamon, walnut, cherry, chocolate, or toasted almond.
  • Add a splash of caramel, vanilla, or cinnamon schnapps to add extra flavor with a touch of sweetness.
  • If whipped cream is too much or you don't have whole coffee beans on hand to utilize as a garnish, keep it simple with a swirl of caramel or chocolate syrup down the sides of the mug.
  • Alternatives to coffee beans include chocolate shavings, sprinkles of any kind, and ground nutmeg or cinnamon.
  • In a cocktail shaker, add ice and hot coffee. Shake vigorously for approximately 3-4 minutes until foam has formed. Use this coffee foam in place of whipped cream.
  • To mimic Irish coffees of long ago, pour heavy cream on the back of a spoon to create a float atop the coffee.

May the Coffee Rise to Meet You

Irish coffee isn't a drink to scoff at; it'll turn your day around or get it going instantly. Whether you take your first boozy sip at brunch or serve it as a dessert cocktail, it's a drink for the ages.

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Creamy & Sweet Classic Irish Coffee Recipe